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Tighter wallets, bad weather rain on Bon-Ton's Q2

York, Pa. - Impacted by inclement weather conditions, higher gas prices, and shrinking consumer spending as a result, Bon-Ton Stores Inc. took sales and comp hits during its second quarter.

Net loss shrank to $37.3 million, or $1.95 per share, versus a net loss of $45.0 million, or $2.43 per share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

Sales dropped 6.3% to $557.1 million, and comparable store sales fell 6.4%.

"We were disappointed in our second quarter sales performance," said Brendan Hoffman, president and ceo, "but we were pleased we were able to deliver on several of our goals, including a 100 basis point increase in the gross margin rate and reduced expenses, which led to 23% growth in adjusted EBITDA."

Year to date, net loss improved by $21.9 million to $64.0 million, or $3.37 per diluted share. Sales dipped 2.6% to $1.20 billion, and comps decreased 2.5%.

Looking ahead, Hoffman said Bon-Ton is focused the localization of merchandise assortments and marketing programs to drive the top line.

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